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September 2010 Archives

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgSure, at last night's school board meetings, Elgin School District U46 passed a "tight" budget. And Carpentersville-based Community Unit School District 300 passed a budget with a $6.5 million deficit.

But the biggest news on the education beat here at The Courier-News?

Your education reporter Emily McFarlan (i.e. me) got engaged to her boyfriend of two years, Joel Miller, last weeked.


engagement.jpg


OK, in no way, shape or form do I have any delusions that is the biggest news on any beat at the Courier (especially not with the impact the state financial crisis has had on our schools), but several people have asked in the past week if I planned to blog about our engagement. And we did promise to give you a peek at our lives "between the bylines" on this blog, such as when, oh, our homes are broken into. After all, you are so gracious as to share your stories with us in the newspaper when these things happen.

Plus, my fiance game me the OK to announce our engagement here on the blog, with the caveat to be "sparse."


Perhaps your one chance to offer wedding advice, gush about wedding-y stuff, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for katie.jpgLast weekend, members of Elgin High School took to the streets in downtown Elgin to paint school pride on the windows of local businesses. Each class -- freshman through senior -- along with some extracurricular organizations, were given their own set of panes to paint.

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Painting the windows of local businesses is part of the school's longtime homecoming tradition.

Jaimie Abney, the Maroons' marching band director, worked with students to paint Mickey Mouse and some magical music notes on the windows of the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce building. Another class painted a Cinderella scene on the windows at the former Mad Maggies, now The Hangout. (See story about the switch here)

Elgin High School's Homecoming begins Sunday, Oct. 3, when alumni are invited to bring family and friends to watch the 2010 Elgin High School Disney-themed Homecoming Parade. It will start at 1 p.m. and travel throughout downtown Elgin, beginning and ending at Festival Park.

Following the parade, the EHS Student Council has arranged activities in Festival Park, according to the school district. Then, all adults (over the age of 21) are invited to join fellow alumni, faculty, family and friends meeting at The Hangout on South Grove Avenue.

More on Elgin High School's homecoming events after the jump.

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps



According to Neil Young, rust never sleeps. So is money rusty? This movie probably is. Michael Douglas reprises his "Greed is Good" Gordon Gekko greaseball who finally gets out of jail (like a white collar criminal would ever be in the slammer as long as it's been between the original and the sequel). Shia LeBeouf plays the male ingenue this time, taking Charlie Sheen's place. With any Oliver Stone movie, expect a lot of bombast and flurry, signifying nothing.

Beer rating: Lots of Heineken. It seems that beer was back when Douglas first hammed it up in the first cheesy episode.


You Again, Buried, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgIt's here! The newly-designed Courier-News website, couriernewsonline.com! (It's also accessible by the less 1990s-esque address, couriernews.suntimes.com.)

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You also can access the new website from your smartphone at couriernews.suntimes.com/mobile.

Sun-Times Media West Editorial Director Mike Cetera shares his thoughts about the redesign in today's paper. But we want to hear from you.

What do you think of the new website? What do you like or dislike? Is there anything else you would like to see? Share your thoughts here on Between the Bylines!


-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter




Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and blogs about the local music scene Wednesdays exclusively on Between the Bylines.


Remember that band from our awesome city I was talking about a few weeks back? You should. They were called The Brokedowns.

Anyway.

All went as planned, and the band's debut album on Red Scare Records, "Species Bender," was released Tuesday, Sept. 14. This Saturday, Sept. 25, The Brokedowns will be hosting a release show for "Species Bender" at Ronny's (2101 N. California Ave.) in Chicago with fellow Elginites, Bust!, Vacation Bible School and The House That Gloria Vanderbilt and Double Bird, from Minneapolis.


More about the show, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Devil



Some people get trapped in an elevator, and one of them turns out to be the devil. I guess that would be worse than if someone in the elevator farted. Or if that minister from Florida who wanted to burn the Koran was trapped with you. There are lots of people with whom I wouldn't want to be trapped in an elevator. That topic should be one of those stupid lists that floats around on Facebook, which is a tool of the devil. Anyway, this movie is written by M. Knight Shama-lama-ding-dong so expect some lame plot twist in the third act.

Beer rating: Perhaps one of those big bottles brewed in Belgium by Trappist monks.

The Town, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and blogs about the local music scene Wednesdays exclusively on Between the Bylines.


I found out yesterday that Mad Maggie's is no more. In fact, the signs are being taken down today.

But that doesn't mean there will be a lack of music.

After one of the Mad Maggie's owners, Ted Kurita, bought out his partner Sean Davis, the place is in need of new management, said Evie Ferrie, former co-manager of The Gasthaus. Ferrie and former Gasthaus co-manager Larry Herman met with Kurita, who them an offer to be his partners. They accepted and will be managing what is to be called The Hangout, opening Friday and taking the place of Mad Maggie's.


What this means for Gasthaus, the local music scene, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgI was in trigonometry my senior year of high school when the first plane hit the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. At a Lutheran high school in Springfield, Ill. About as far removed from downtown Manhattan as you can get.

I know, because I spent the next five Sept. 11's in New York City; two, living in a dorm building blocks from the World Trade Center. I woke up in those mornings to the sound of the names of those lost in the terrorist attacks being read aloud, echoing across a quiet and somber Financial District. I spent disquieting nights watching police place barricades and flares in the street in front of my dorm after plans for a terrorist car bombing in the area were uncovered. I made friends who had lived in that dorm when debris from the burning, falling towers rained on the area, who had spent their first-period high school classes watching the smoke rise in the distance and desperately trying to get ahold of family members, who had been first responders to the scene and still struggle emotionally and physically. I always felt like New Yorkers were a little nicer on the anniversary of that day; You never knew what someone else was going through.

I was supposed to fly to New York the day or two after the attacks for a college open house at New York University. Flights were grounded, and well-meaning friends were sure this meant I shouldn't make the cross-country move to a city of ruins. But I caught a later open house. I graduated cum laude from NYU.

But this day isn't about me.

Some of the best Sept. 11 remembrances I've read today have come from some of our own at The Courier-News.

Community News Editor Julia Doyle tweeted: "This day isn't about me & where I was. It isn't about Qurans. It's about the 2,977 people killed in NYC, Va. & Pa. for being Americans."

And Reporter Mike Danahey posted on Facebook: "Enjoy a day, and be nice to people who are different from you."

So let's do that. Let's remember the families who have been separated, both by the attacks and by the wars that followed. Let's remember those we lost in New York, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and those who still are affected in the aftermath. That's who this day is about. Let's also remember the day when headlines on different newspapers, from different countries, from people who are different from "us," read, "We are all Americans." And let's be nice to people who are different. Because we are all Americans.

Take a moment to share your memories of Sept. 11, 2001, here. And then let's enjoy a day.


-- Emily McFarlan, Staff Writer




Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Resident Evil: Afterlife



Finally, the 3D zombie apocalypse movie everyone has been waiting for! I watched some previews, and this movie is very stylized in blues and grays. Wait. Do movies based on video games even count as movies?

Beer rating: La Fin du Monde ("The End of the World") seems fitting, of course -- though it's way better a beer than this flick deserves.

The Virginity Hit, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for katie.jpgWhether we like it or not, hyperlocal news websites are here, invading our coverage areas and hiring away our experienced co-workers. (By "our," I'm referring to traditional print media outlets, including The Courier-News and the Chicago Sun Times.)

And, further cementing their place in the news-purveying industry is recent movement by the Illinois Press Association to create a membership category for the hyperlocal dot-coms.

bocatwitterprofile.pngpatch.jpgFor those of you who are not media insiders, currently news websites like Patch (recently sprouted in Geneva, St. Charles and, yesterday, in Naperville) and Elgin's BocaJump float in a sort of limbo. They function as sort of mini newspapers with an online presence only. They report local happenings, publish police reports and cover some local government. They hire people with journalism degrees and sell ads, too.

The creators of these types of news websites say their pages will serve up community journalism with a heavy focus on feature stories and submitted content. Some claim to be "complementary rather than competition," when it comes to traditional print media. Others flat out seek to oust the journalists already in town.


What's the debate? What does this mean? After the jump.

Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and blogs about the local music scene Wednesdays exclusively on Between the Bylines.


Friend, informant and popcorn aficionado Katie Anderson informed me the Small Mall on Route 31 in South Elgin, across from the Foxtrail Restaurant, had a sign in the window that read something like, "Vintage LPs, $3 each."

Curious, I went in and checked it out last week. Their selection was surprisingly large. They had mostly classic rock, pop and new wave records.

After tracking down the Cheap Trick stock to see if there were any LPs I didn't have, more records at the opposite end of the store caught my eye. There were the 7-inches, hundreds of them, unsorted and most without sleeves. There was a lot of polka on red vinyl and old music I never heard before on blue vinyl.


What else? After the jump.

Thumbnail image for danahey2 copy.jpgNOTE: In a revival of this "classic" Friday feature, Courier-News reporter Mike Danahey guesses how much beer (or other beverage of choice) it might take him to pay money to see a recently-released movie. His opinions are based on trailers, ads and advance hype.

Here are some movies playing this weekend...


Going the Distance



Drew Barrymore and the smug hipster from the Apple commercials star in a comedy about a couple trying to have a relationship where one of them lives in Chicago and the other in L.A. This is probably easier for them than most because the dude most likely gets a deal on that new iPhone with the two-way camera and other nifty attachments.

Beer rating: If I want flat, stale beer I can just wait until after Labor Day and finish off what's left in the keg of PBR at my friend Tom's house.


The American, Machete, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for janelle.jpgI've picked up police reports in Elgin, Carpentersville, the Dundees and all over our area for 10 years now. I've written plenty of reports about home burglaries and have kept an eye out for patterns -- if houses in a certain area seemed to be getting hit, I'd make sure to note in the police report if those robberies seemed to be in a cluster and, hopefully, give homeowners a heads up that something is going on in their neighborhoods.

But the importance of those reports has a whole new meaning for me, now that it has happened to me.

I was out of town for several days for an aunt's funeral (breast cancer) in North Dakota. I spent an extra day there, too, because my sister and her husband sold their house and moved to Fargo, and they had to get everything out of the old house by end of Sunday. She was breaking down and needed her sister.

But on Sunday night, while I was driving in Fargo, my sister on the phone with my folks, trying to give them directions to her new house, my phone rang. It was my wonderful, dear neighbors telling me that when they went to check on my cat, they found my house had been burglarized.

They found the chain on the door, which was the first tipoff that something was wrong. They got the chain off and found my TV sitting on the living room floor. They immediately called 911.

I was 10 hours away by car. And really mad.


What was stolen, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for jason.jpgNOTE: Freelance writer Jason Duarte books shows in Elgin and Chicago, is part of a band and blogs about the local music scene Wednesdays exclusively on Between the Bylines.


My best friend showed me a "messed up video" on YouTube not too long ago. The song was called "Supertime," and the artist was David Berndsen from Iceland. The video was this dude with a red beard and a suit dancing on an upside-down car with his friends pulling the injured and dying passengers out and dancing with them.

After that, I found a video for the title track of his debut album, "Lover In The Dark." I was amazed. Sold.

"Lover In The Dark," made up of 11 tracks and totaling 36:23, starts off with an instrumental electronic intro building up to the title track from the video, "Lover In The Dark."



It feels like you're inside of a game of Tetris backed with dance-y electro-pop. Which rules. In the video, Berndsen's mission is to spread love with a ray gun of sorts. He sees people punching each other, zaps them and voila! They hug, and his heart meter goes up. The message: You're just a lover hiding in the dark.


The rest of the tracks, after the jump.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2010 is the previous archive.

October 2010 is the next archive.

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